Help I'm a cubase newbie!

Hi there, Im Judi and I have Cubase studio 5. First of all if I am posting in the wrong place would someone kindly tell me so, I have no idea how to navigate these things! I dont know how many new to cubase people come on here but I was wondering whether someone might take a little bit of time with me on here to help me. I would be so grateful. I’ll tell you a little bit about my experience so you can understand. Ive wanted to make music most of my life (im 28). I finally got cubase about 1.5 years ago (after doing a short introductory course-it was great but not long enough) and was just completely overwhelmed. I tried to read the getting started manual and that helped a little, as well as tutorials but I got discouraged and just left it. Well ive decided to give it another go but I have simple questions that if I can get them answered I know I will progress a lot! Forgive me, my knowledge is VERY basic, Im creative but need guidance. I would appreciate any advice anyone can give me btw. My first question is this: Im starting very basic and just want to create a full track with one of the beats in groove agent one-vinyl loops. Basically I want to know how to record this so that it doesnt play for the whole song but only in the places I want it. Sorry if this has a very obvious answer. I have selected it in the instrument track and changed it to 110bpm but it just plays the whole time. I want it to come in after a few bars of music. Thank you so much for anyone who is willing to help me, its taken a while for me to pluck up the courage to write on here as I feel like I dont know anything!

Have a great day everyone,


I don’t use groove agent so maybe someone that does has a better idea.

But are you triggering it with a midi track, if so then edit the midi track to make it play at the right places.

Are you using the Beat designer plugin to trigger GAO?
If so then you need to either ‘print’ the midi to a midi track or use a mid note to trigger each midi pattern in Beat Designer.
Have a look in the top left hand corner of beat designer and you’ll see a number of options, if you select one measure on the time line in cubase and then click in beat designer in the upper left corner and select the ‘fill loop with pattern’ option, don’t forget though to turn the BD plugin OFF once you have done this as it will keep playing over your new midi data double triggering each hit.

If you are still confused then you are going to have to spend a bit more time with your manual and posting here.
It IS pretty simple but only once you have your head around the concept.

i’m just in the process of making some tuitional videos on this very subject but they’re not massively high up on my list of priorities at the moment. i have the next two about a third done at the moment.

you can view the first one on drum maps here…
it would also be worth searching youtube for other videos too. you SHOULD watch the drum maps video though as even though you might not realise their relevance at the moment you will be ripping your hair out once you are programming beats.

Hey Judi,

I’ve got quite a few Cubase tutorials on my youtube channel and a couple of them might be helpful:

and an older couple:

part one -
part two -

I’ve also developed a beginners course in Cubase for point blank online and that’s here - - this features weekly one to one audio/video feedback on your assignments.

all the best,


Hey Danny… GREAT videos mate!

I’m going to be doing it from a different perspective though, concentrating more on ‘realistic’ drums as if played by a real drummer, the first videos will be using GAO for simplicity, it’s fantastic for doing dance, electronica and very simple rock/pop type stuff but hopeless at emulating a drummer so in the later videos i will be switching over to BFD2 where things, by their very nature, get a bit more complex, but it’s a bit like jumping in at the deep end when you first encounter BFD2.

The OP should definitely check out your vids though! :wink:

Hi Judi, (welcome to the forum)

I would class myself as a newbie when it comes to programming drums, we’re in the same boat so your not alone!
So, I’ve tried to re-create what you are doing to see what’s going on.
Following Danny’s video, part 1 seems to be the way to go, however, ive noticed ‘Vinyl Loops’ is not an audio media type but a ‘pattern bank file’ which won’t allow you to drag it over as explained in the vid (I say ‘wont’ maybe I should say ‘I’ couldn’t :slight_smile: )

Unfortunalty, thats as far as I got and have no idea what you would need to do when its a ‘Pattern bank file’, sorry :blush:

…Anyone know what to do when its pattern bank file?

Danny, great vids, I knew they would be (i done a course with Point Blank at the end of 09! :slight_smile: ) thanks for sharing!

Mat, cool video you’ve done there, really look forward to your BFD2 vids if you get the time do them! :smiley: . I’ve had BFD2 for a few years and STILL can’t get it to sound any good! :frowning: I always end up using Halion 1 and Groove agent for drum sounds! :blush: (…not knocking H1 or GA, theres a lot of great sounds in there! :slight_smile:)


I don’t use GAO, but if it’s like most of the beat boxes, it will have internal loops/groove patterns. That would cause it to play constantly if you click play in Cubase. Read the Groove Agent manual and see if it has grooves that you can disable. Then use the MIDI track to drive it instead of the grooves.

Hi there,

Thanks all for taking the time to respond to me and for the welcome. Much appreciated! I dont understand some of the jargon but im sure I will learn it as I go along. Thanks also for the links to tutorials etc. I will definately check these out!! Someone asked if I was using a beat designer plugin to trigger Groove agent one. I dont really understand what this means. I was choosing an instrument track, then choosing groove agent one, then the ‘beats’ and vinyl loops then i was attempting to ‘record’ this beat loop for a selected amount of time in my song. From what I have read it seems this would be difficult to do. Im going to ask a very silly question…what is Beat designer? i was asked if i used beat designer to trigger GAO… Also, should I be selecting MIDI track instead of an instrument track? Im going to go and watch these videos and see if I cant work something out!!

beat designer is what is called a ‘midi plugin’ and can be accessed from the ‘MIDI inserts’ tab in the inspector pane on the far left of your arrange window. it is deceptively powerful and is used to trigger midi events, in this case drum hits. it needs to be linked to a drum unit such as GAO (groove agent one) in order for you to get any sound out of it.
GAO is best run from the VST rack which you can access by hitting F11 on your keyboard. the reason for doing it this way is so that you can run each drum or groups of drums out on their own channels into cubase… VERY handy for getting a really nice sound! :smiley: instrument tracks are still a pretty new thing to cubase and are still under developed so there are certain things you cannot do with them at the moment.
I am just working on the screen capture for the next video which strangely enough… .lol will explain it ALL to you!.. well most of it! it will get you through setting up beat designer and hooking it up to GAO with a very short part on how to send each drum out to it’s own channel etc… if you can wait a couple of days or so it should be finished… meanwhile keep reading that manual, exploring and enjoying!
I’ll post a link again when the video is finished, i may actually split it into two parts this time.

This is exactly what I meant by internal loops/grooves. First, Instrument tracks are actually hindering your understanding of what is going on. They hide a lot of complexity from you.

It would be better to start with a simpler VSTi, like a basic synth. Use the instrument Rack (F11) instead of an Instrument TRACK. If you pick, say Monologue, from the drop down in the Rack, it will ask you if you want to create MIDI track. SAY YES.

Now you should have a foldered VSTi audio track(s) and a brownish MIDI track. If you select the MIDI track and look at the inspector on the left, it should be showing Monologue (or synth you loaded) as the MIDI Out.

If you have a MIDI keyboard, arm (record) the MIDI track and hit a key. You don’t need the transport running. Or, open the virtual MIDI keyboard and use your computer keyboard. You should be able to play monolouge. Now set the range tool and insert a MIDI event. Double click the MIDI event and experiment with The MIDI track driving the VSTI.

The issue with groove type plugins is that they have a sequencer within a sequencer. It basically has an internal MIDI track, which are the loops you are talking about.

I’ve recently bought the Ask Video series here:

They are DVD’s of about 30 tutorials on each, and are really useful. I gave up with the manual, I don’t learn well from books and there was too much jargon I just didn’t understand. Video is easily the best way for me. You can get them from a shop called Inta Audio in the UK at about £30 each. They go into every synth that your Cubase 5 has.

Dannyjlewis has amazing videos on youtube, the Groove Agent one is explained really well and that’s what I used to learn how to use the basic functions. Main thing is to slice up your beat, drop into the GA and then use a midi track to lay out the hits of each beat / part at the time you want. I’m also looking to do a course at PointBlank once I have my head round things a bit more.

NO disrespect to Danny at all here because his vids are GREAT for slicing beats and working with pre-existing loops as a start point etc but my new one will explain from a different angle… i.e. creating beats totally from scratch and not relying on pre existing audio loops, loops are kind of ok but if you use loops all the time it’s a lot more difficult to come up with completely original ideas of your own, who wants to be the next ‘insert name here’ when potentially you could be the first YOU! :wink: don’t forget if you buy a CD full of loops… so have a bunch of other people so they’re not exactly unique.
Of course beat mangling can be and is fun but the creative freedom being able to program your own stuff out of your own head i personally find much more rewarding… also a great way to avoid those copyright lawsuits! :wink: the really big guys either have enough cash or clout in the business to do a deal for their samples OR they pay someone to recreate them for them.

I have used a couple of the vocal samples from the vst set as our vocalists are unavailable for the next few weeks as i thought as i have the rest of the track sorted i may as well get this one up in the next few days.

wow, thanks for the response! I will definately be keeping track of your video’s on this. Thanks for explaining beat designer. Im going to have a play around (and keep a notebook handy to write all this down) If you dont mind Ill prob post back here soon and let you know how im doing!

Thanks for this, will have ago at this. There is so many things to learn but baby steps are better than no steps atall!

Thanks! good idea. I must say I learn much better from video’s as well. I am going to check out the video’s recommended on here from youtube etc and then check the ones you mentioned too. I would LOVE to do that pointBlank course! I saw that. I wish I had the time and $ haha!!

I agree with you on this! When I learn how to do a simple track then I know I will want to get more creative but like I said…baby steps! :slight_smile:

… you might find this useful… :wink:

I agree with you Matt. I’m working on my own beats, but am only in my producing infancy, so using loops helps me as I can learn the intricacies of Cubase first. In time I’ll get to understand what beats need to go where to create a certain sounding loops and produce what’s in my head. I try to always edit any loops I use in some way to put my own spin on it at least.

It has to FEEL right mate and THAT is the most important thing… never mind quantising the hell outta stuff… that just kills any groove you may have DEAD!
Have a look and a listen to any of the great bass players and drummers and you will notice very few play on the beat. it’s all about being around the beat. As a general rule rock drummers tend to ‘push’ i.e. play the snare and hats etc ahead of the beat whereas funkier players, bass players included play behind the beat… not easy to do if you consciously try… the bass player Larry Graham is a fantastic example of this… supposedly the chap that invented the ‘slap’ technique for bass too!
Real musicians tend to speed up slightly into and through a chorus section too… load any track by a real band, particularly before 1983 when midi was introduced, sync the first few bars up to cubase and then watch how the timing varies, it can be quite an interesting exercise to create a tempo map that matches the tune and just have a look at how varied the timing is and how it drifts. it’s even MORE in classical stuff… quite shocking actually the first time you try it!